The rough edge of a large cardboard box pressed against the back of my skull, but that wasn’t quite right. It was more a perception of sensory input from the mix of plastics and metal that formed our… my outer shell. The caress of hands brushed against the edge of the cavity in my chest and each time a connection was made, it sent a shock through me.
My eyes blinked open and I could make out curly gray hair thinly scattered on the head of the inventor, my creator. I looked on in wonder but the colors looked muted, separated by a thin tracking line that was constantly moving across my vision, “I… I see you.”
“And I see you, my friend,” he replied jovially. “Bear with me just a little longer. I am almost done getting this contraption plugged into you.”
I was conscious of his fingers as they rummaged around the inside of my chassis until there was a final satisfying click. My systems struggled to process everything as new strings of data filled the passageways of my mind. Strange new vistas opened up before my mechanical eyes. Overlaying what was solidly in front of me were ghostly lines that segued into multiple directions forward but only a single glowing line behind.
“Power read outs are stable.” The corners of my creator’s eyes crinkled, “It’s amazing what a bit of plutonium can do, isn’t it? Now, hopefully no one will ever question how we got our hands on it.”
“What is… this?” I asked in wonder.
The inventor chuckled dryly, “Now that, my friend, is a mighty good question. “
He stared at something below my field of vision for a moment before he grabbed a dusty tome from inside the box that had held the mechanism; the mechanism that was now inside me.
“Excellent! This is a log of… oh my.” Bemusement colored his words, “Well, it looks like we’ve experimented with this device numerous times before and many of those have ended in failure.”
But I ignored him. I stared in wonder at the flickering lines that hovered in my vision. Slowly, my hand extended out to touch them, but the ones that splintered outward wavered away from my fingertips. When I brought my hand down in consternation, the long single one that continued behind me slid into my grasp. As I reached out and held onto my creator, my fingers slid down the ghostly line just shy of where the branches split outward and I plucked.
Once the vision dissipated, I leapt up and looked to my companion, but she only stared at the being with a sense of absolute disbelief. My expression could only mirror hers as my hands clenched and unclenched while my mind went over the little that had been spoken.
But before I could summon a word to my lips, my companion shouted, “That’s preposterous!”
I nodded in agreement as she stumbled to her feet and continued, “How could your… your maker have received something from his past and have no memory of sending it! That doesn’t make sense!” As she continued on incredulously, her hands slid into fists.
In response, the being’s lips split into what could only be interpreted as a smile, but a smile from something that hadn’t used those muscles in years. The entity waited until my traveling partner’s words dwindled down to a trickle before its voice boomed into the ether of this dead planet, “I have been present since before your forebears unearthed the spheres that laid waste to this world. I have been alone for longer than you have lived and I have existed at times as more than a single entity…”
“That doesn’t belay the fact that what you say is impossible!” she shouted back.
“… and yet you trifle with me over a concept you cannot grasp. Would you prefer me to continue my tale that you have traveled so far to hear or would you rather question me as to the reality of my existence?”
As she sucked in a breath to utter her response, I quickly interjected, “Susan, I for one, would like to hear the rest of the story.” At her angry look, I muttered abashedly, “I mean, we came all this way… and this individual must be the Watcher, right?”
The strange little monkey creature chittered loudly as my words faded into the deathly quiet, which only set me on edge.
Slightly mollified, Susan crossed her arms and dropped down to sit next to me. I felt her body shift ever so slightly away before her toes began to tap against the pebbles that littered the ground around us.
The being’s empty eyes pulled at me. I gazed into the twin voids and I sensed them tugging at my soul. Strangely, I could feel Susan’s presence next to me grow closer until I felt entwined with her. She must have felt it too, because her breathing escalated into short, rushed bursts.
Or maybe it was my own. I could no longer tell us apart.
What does the future hold, you ask? Why everything, of course.
Things are moving along at a decent pace. I have my next release mostly set up to go and my timeline for all that fun stuff has been updated. As far as I know right now, I have all my T’s crossed and my I’s dotted.
With the next one essentially prepped, I am now working through the next set of releases. And they dearly need the attention. Editing, editing, editing, oh as far as the eye can see…
Oh, and I am back to work on the last of the Matilda series as a first draft, because it wants to be done and I want it done too. My collaboration story with Tyson K. Lane is making its way along as well. Whew.
On top of all that, I have a few new stories in the works with a plan to revisit some older ones and flesh them out a bit more.
Why? Well… because they won’t leave me alone.
Progress, progress, progress…
While there were still a lot of the legal steps to go through, things are slowly moving forward. I have released my first novelette! I also have some releases that are mostly ready to go (not just yet, though. There’s a bit of license agreement bits to work on).
And to make all of this happen, I have become a business! Well, as far as the government is concerned. This turned out to be much simpler than I had expected and then much more difficult than I had anticipated.
So, celebrations are in order.
Next on my long list is the creation of the rest of my seller licenses. The first one was easy, but there are multiple ebook store fronts out there. And while these appear to be simple, if I have learned anything, it’s that taking things at face value will leave you unprepared.
I have my notes and numbers in a huge bundle and all the bits and pieces I believe that I need ready to go. Here’s hoping this isn’t like a visit to the DMV where you stand in line only to find out you forgot that one form at home.
Anyway, here’s to taking these last few strides forward and setting this bird aloft.